RUN/WALK/BIKE ACROSS AMERICA FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
[Updated from 2018]
Start: Memorial Day, May 27, at Astoria OR
Finish: Labor Day, September 2, at Portland ME
Rather not train all summer for yet another a long-distance race in the fall? Bored by the thought of exercising without a purpose or destination? Hoping to involve your friends or children in running, walking, or cycling with you toward a shared goal?
Take a VIRTUAL journey ACROSS AMERICA on foot or bicycle, approximately 3,730 miles long, in this challenge! Enjoy the ‘sights’, learn the geography and history of parts of America you’ve may never have visited. Use this challenge to hold yourself to a fitness schedule of RUNNING, WALKING, and/or CYCLING all through the summer months. Earned Runs has created a calendar adapted from a bicycle tour (see *acknowledgment) that involves committing to 2 to 3 sessions/week.
Participants will choose how they wish to “scale” the miles (1 real mile run/ walked = 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 100 miles on the map). There is an itinerary chart that shows the distance to be traveled for each of 39 segments over 15 weeks by each scale calculation.
The scale system was created so that each person could run/walk/bike the entire ‘distance’ according to their fitness level. Persons of different abilities can participate in the challenge together, by each using a different scale.
Segment 1 takes travelers from Astoria, Oregon to Portland Oregon. The actual distance on the map is roughly 100 MILES. The distances participants can choose to run/walk/bike on this segment are:
- 10 miles (10:1 ratio; for every 10 miles on the map, you run/walk 1 mile)
- 5 miles (20:1 ratio; for every 20 miles on the map, you run/walk 1 mile)
- 3.3 miles (30:1 ratio; for every 30 miles on the map you run/walk 1 mile)
- 2.5 miles (40:1 ratio; for every 40 miles on the map, you run/walk 1 mile)
- 2.0 miles (50:1 ratio; for every 50 miles on the map, you run/walk 1 mile)
- 1.0 mile (100:1 ratio; for every 100 miles on the map, you run/walk 1 mile)
Use Earned Runs bibs, the ACROSS AMERICA Calendar, or a log to record completion of each segment!
Each Sunday there will be a BLOG post about that week's segment, providing a bit of information on the ground to be covered. You might be inspired to research more deeply into the sights, topography, environment, people, and culture of that part of the trail.
If you know the part of the country the challenge will be traveling through, share your knowledge and expert insights with everyone else by adding a comment.
Hopefully this challenge will work well for families, as younger children can use a different scale than parents or older siblings. All are able to run/walk/bike distances best suited to their fitness and ability, in order to meet each day’s goal. It may be that in some families the parents will require the highest handicap!
This challenge is a simple way to track progress made exercising over the entire summer. The cumulative miles will allow ‘travel’ from west to east across the broad expanse of the northern United States, through different regions. It’s a fun way to learn more about what’s there!
Having a planned ‘itinerary’ provides structure to the summer’s running, walking, or cycling fitness activity. The scale system makes it possible for each participant to choose how strenuous this ‘trip’ will be. The ACROSS AMERICA Calendar and Itinerary drafts ARE POSTED on the RESOURCES PAGE for you to preview. Check out the SEGMENT MAPS, soon to be posted there also, which are free for download.
My experience: I took up this challenge in the summer of 2016 and started by running all my miles on the 10:1 scale. I was training for a 5K race in early August as well, and doing the STREAK running challenge too. Eventually I found it easier and more enjoyable to walk some miles, if I could not get them covered by running, on certain days. This was true for 2017 too. In 2018 I walked but did not run any miles to recover from an injury and completed some by cycling on a fat-tire bike. This year I will use the combined efforts of walking, running, and fat-time bicycling to complete each week’s mile commitment.
It’s all about the JOURNEY in this challenge. Employ any aerobic exercise form that helps you achieve weekly goals. Use a treadmill, stationary bike, rowing or elliptical machines if preferred. I have some equipment in my garage. With the door open on bad weather days my workouts have the feel of outdoor sessions but not the discomfort or danger if thunderstorms threaten.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
1. Change the mile ratio as needed, adjusting the scale you as you go, anytime. Start with one ratio and drop down or move up to another if the effort is harder or easier, respectively, to fit into your week than you first calculated.
2. The Calendar segments are scheduled Monday -Friday, to avoid taking up family and friend time on precious summer weekends. Use Saturdays and Sundays when necessary.
3. Take as many days as you need to complete each segment. Even if you fall behind, finish as much of the journey as is possible. It will still be fun. and possibly educational too. Pick up the trail next summer at the location where you stopped.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The route is an itinerary for a bicycle tour that’s been publicly posted on the internet. The TREKTRAVEL company worked to develop it, and hosts the tour and many others. In 2016 and 2017 Earned Runs contacted the company through email every year to provide notification of our use of the plan.
Check out their site, especially if the real trip is something you are interested in completing!
EARNED RUNS 2019 ACROSS AMERICA ITINERARY WITH SCALED SEGMENTS
EARNED RUNS 2019 ACROSS AMERICA CALENDAR
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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